HEALTH

Sharper Image signs with HoMedics to build product portfolio

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK One-time specialty retailer The Sharper Image on Monday announced the signing of a $540 million, five-year licensing agreement with HoMedics, a manufacturer of personal health, wellness and relaxation products that will place the Sharper Image brand across a broad range of product categories.

“The Sharper Image is an iconic brand with tremendous positive consumer awareness, and we’re extremely excited about how HoMedics can further boost our leadership in personal health, wellness and relaxation products while remaining true to The Sharper Image brand legacy,” stated Ron Ferber, president of HoMedics. “The agreement will allow us to enter into new categories that will complement our core business and will allow HoMedics to introduce new product innovations with a wider range of price points.”

“We are pleased that the strength of The Sharper Image brand has attracted a licensee of HoMedics’ caliber,” stated Federico de Bellegarde, vice president of licensing at The Sharper Image. “HoMedics is a terrific fit for The Sharper Image brand due to their extensive product development capabilities coupled with their significant relationships in the retail community. HoMedics understands The Sharper Image brand DNA and, with their newly developed products, shall set the standard for our brand objectives.”

HoMedics has been selected as a primary strategic licensee for The Sharper Image brand as it transforms its business model from a retailer to a global lifestyle brand licensor, Shaper Image stated. Under this agreement, HoMedics will offer uniquely featured products in categories including home environment, electronics, men’s personal care, men’s gifts and health and wellness.

In May of this year, a group of private investors purchased The Sharper Image brand and intellectual property and have developed a global licensing strategy for wholesale, e-commerce, catalog and direct-to-retail businesses. This approach will allow The Sharper Image brand to exist outside the confines of its historic core channels and on the shelves of retailers.

HoMedics will introduce their first collection of Sharper Image licensed products at both the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2009 and the International Housewares Show in Chicago in March 2009.

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Hylands offers parents relief to children’s cough-cold medication worries: homeopathic remedies

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES Hyland’s helped position homeopathic alternatives to allopathic cough-cold medicines as a viable alternative to parents seeking symptomatic relief for their children suffering from a cold in the wake of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association’s announcement earlier this week that those allopathic medicines should not be used for children under the age of four.

“Natural cough and cold medicines for children are not simply recent industry fads, but rather time-tested medications that are highly safe and effective,” stated Jim Sears, an expert in the field of pediatric medicine and advocate of natural medicines. “By being completely free of the active ingredients of concern to the FDA, homeopathic medicines provide symptom relief for children and peace of mind for parents everywhere.”

“It all comes down to understanding what you put into your body and the bodies of your children,” added J. P. Borneman, chairman and chief executive officer of Hyland’s. “At Hyland’s we create the types of children’s medications that we feel safe giving to our own kids. Our medicines treat the cause of sickness safely and gently, without fear of side effects, and are manufactured according to FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices.”

Hyland’s offers a complete line of gentle products to treat the cough and cold symptoms of children, including:

• Cough Syrup with 100% Natural Honey 4 Kids

• Cold ‘n Cough 4 Kids, New

• Cold Relief with Zinc 4 Kids Strips, due in stores this winter

• Sniffles ‘n Sneezes 4 Kids

• Complete Flu Care 4 Kids

• C-Plus Cold Tablets

• Cough Syrup with Honey

• Earache Drops

“If parents take anything away from this situation, they should understand that they are their child’s greatest defense against avoiding the dangers associated with the OTC medications causing concern,” Sears said. “Parents need to make sure they are educated on the benefits of natural medicines available to them and their children so they are not forced to decide between treating their child’s sickness and keeping their child safe.”

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AAP announces new Web resource: Pediatric Care Online

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON The American Academy of Pediatrics on Friday announced the introduction of a next-generation point-of-practice resource to the nation’s pediatricians this week as the organization holds its annual National Conference and Exhibition here.

The Web-based resource is called Pediatric Care Online. “It is fast and easy to navigate, and every hit is rewarding,” stated Michael Severson, pediatrician. “Pediatric Care Online is going to be very valuable not only because of the amount and quality of information that it brings together in one place, but also because it’s interactive and there when you need it. If you’ve ever wished for a point-of-care resource that you didn’t have, this service probably offers it.”

Through a three-year sponsorship by Mead Johnson Nutritionals, most pediatricians can enroll for a free three-month trial period, while pediatric residents can sign up for a free trial of one year.

At the heart of Pediatric Care Online’s content are three of the AAP’s most relied-upon practice resources: the new AAP Textbook of Pediatric Care, which is the standard reference of its kind; content from the AAP’s Red Book, which provides detailed information on more than 200 childhood infectious diseases; and Bright Futures, the organization’s comprehensive health supervision guidelines.

Mobile features include an interface that will allow users of Internet-capable devices to search the Website. In addition, the service offers a broad range of content that can be downloaded to handhelds that do not have Internet access. Downloads are compatible with Palm, Windows Mobile, and Pocket PC devices. Downloadable content includes the Point-of-Care Quick Reference, Bright Futures, the Bright Futures Pocket Guide, Pediatric Drug Lookup, Interactive Periodicity Schedule, Signs and Symptoms Search, Antimicrobial Therapy Guide and Pediatric Care Updates.

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